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Brandon Withrow

Freelance Journalist and Author

Location icon United States

I’m a freelance journalist and the author of nine books. Below are samples of my writing.

The Daily Beast
The Neurotic Traveler's Guide to Planning a Road Trip

When I was in my twenties, a friend came to visit me in Chicago. He was on a road trip, hoping to see a ball game in every stadium on his bucket-list. With no deadlines, no other plans, and his savings emptied, he slept in, and smelled like, his car.

The Daily Beast
The Hidden Dangers of Volunteer Tourism

Death and taxes are frequently said to be the only two things that are certain in life, but I would definitely add the law of unintended consequences to the list. Frequently, our attempts to make the world a better place end up creating new, unforeseen moral and ethical dilemmas.

The Daily Beast
Birding (Yes, Birding) Is a Multi-Billion Dollar Ecotourism Industry

I will never forget the first time I got lost in the eyes of a ruby-throated hummingbird. It was late in spring seven years ago and I was writing out on our patio. Flashes of her green back cut through our garden, darting from petunia to petunia.

The Daily Beast
Your Next Biking Adventure Vacation Is at the Texas Border

Our bike tires glide across the hot asphalt as palm fronds wave at us in the breeze, like cheering bystanders. Just ahead, the U.S.-Mexico border awaits our group of cyclists on the Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Plan Tour, at the southernmost point of Texas.

The Daily Beast
Go Out and Visit a National Park While You Still Can

Not every day-hike has a pay-off like that of the popular Avalanche Trail in Glacier National Park. It begins with a leisurely boardwalk through red cedars and hemlocks, intersects with the rolling waters of Avalanche Creek, and steadily climbs upward until its towering trees part and unveil the amphitheater of Avalanche Lake.

The Daily Beast
It Wouldn't Be an American Road Trip Without Roadside Chapels

"Cover the earth before it covers you," said philosopher Dagobert D. Runes. American travelers apparently agree, as there has been a record number of visitors to the national parks since 2016 ( over 330 million) and a sharp increase in U.S. vacations by road trip-from 22 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2016.

The Daily Beast
Forget the Car, Biking Is the Best Way to See Your State

PEDAL POWER Cruiser bikes-those retro-looking bikes, which usually only have one gear-are not uncommon on a paved bike trail. The woman I'm passing has a basket on hers, whose intrepid passenger is a small Yorkshire terrier. The wind parts his hair and he has an "I'm on an adventure" steely-eyed gaze.

Washington Post
Why repealing blasphemy laws might help promote religious freedom (ANALYSIS)

"God is a lie." In some countries, uttering, scribbling or texting that statement will get you thrown in jail, beaten with a rod or possibly killed. The "crime" is blasphemy and Wednesday (Sept. 30) is "International Blasphemy Rights Day," set aside by human rights activists to highlight the blasphemy laws on the books in 22 percent of the world's nations, according to the Pew Research Center.

The Daily Beast
What It's Like to Be Black and Atheist

On Nov. 15-and just in time for awkward Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners-nonbelievers everywhere celebrated Openly Secular Day. But being out about one's secularity is often easier said than done. While honesty may be said to be the best policy, for American atheists who are still in the metaphorical closet, it may also come with a price tag.

the Guardian
When we give up a faith, we grieve for the community we leave behind | Brandon G Withrow

You've likely heard the numbers by now. Approximately 23% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic and "nothing in particular"). This demographic is expected to double by 2050. Academia and the media are obsessed with this variegated and poorly understood group and how the growing numbers will play out in American society - and with good reason.

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